April is our crowdfunding month for the ‘Back of the Van’ tour, and as it comes to an end we thought we’d spend some time reflecting on the past month, all the fun events we’ve had and the amazing people who have supported us.
We kicked off our fundraising with a classic bake sale, on Wednesday 18th. Yes that’s right we did something on a Wednesday. Admittedly visiting day traffic meant we had to spend a fair amount of time giving people directions, but it also meant there were many more customers for our sale and we could spread the word about our tour to even more people.
Next, we took things up a gear and went on a pub crawl. This may not be the most conventional of fundraising events, however, we all had a great time and it was lovely to spend time with some of the people who have supported us.
Then, because we all needed a bit of a break, we held a movie night and watched ‘Get over it’. Set in a high school that stages its own production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, this film was definitely as divisive as marmite! But again, we had another lovely evening.
Now, as we’re currently based in St Andrews, and because ‘To the Ocean’ is based on the Scottish folk story of a Selkie (if you don’t know what a Selkie is, look it up, there are lots of different versions of the story and it’s a good time!), it would be silly of us not to take ourselves down to the beach at some point during our Crowdfunding month! On Wednesday 25th we had a beach barbecue complete with smores and even some vegan snacks.
To round everything off, yesterday we had our very own little summer fete in Lade Braes Park. The weather was perfect and we all had a wonderful afternoon in the sunshine. This was a great way to round off our fundraising as we were really reminded of why we are so passionate about the ‘Back of the Van’ tour. In a community setting we were able to see the joy that fun activities and sunshine brings to people, and we hope we are able to achieve a similar outcome with our tour.
So, as we come to the end of our crowdfunding month, I asked our artistic director Oli to sum up why we’ve been working so hard to raise as much money as possible for this crazy project.
The thing with modern theatre is that it’s become really settled. It knows what it is and where it is, and as a result it doesn’t seek to go out and engage new audiences. Many theatre makers are happy to hide behind velvet curtains, creating nonsensical and self-indulgent work, and then getting angry when they see that ticket sales are dwindling.
Theatre is not something that should wait for people to come to it. It should go to them. It should seek them out. Because the medium is caught in a massively middle-class echo chamber, and that will spell out destruction.
Working outside of traditional (and dare I say intimidating) spaces to engage with audience members who may never have been to see shows in the past is not just important to the medium, but important in opening dialogues and spreading positivity across our wounded nation. This project is exploring how we can do that practically, both in the short and long term. And that is why it’s important.
Our fundraising month had not come to an end yet, so if making theatre more accessible is something that you believe is as important as we do, then head over to our JustGiving page now and donate whatever you can spare. Also, make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ensure you’re kept up to date with all of our crazy adventures.